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Axiata, AAX, UMW Holdings, Inari Amertron, Serba Dinamik, Destini, Tropicana Corp, Hua Yang, Utusan Melayu, UOA REIT, Lafarge, Taliworks and Metrod

TheEdge Tue, May 22, 2018 11:59pm - 2 years ago

KUALA LUMPUR (May 22): Based on corporate announcements and news flow today, stocks in focus for Tuesday (May 22) may include the following: Axiata Group Bhd, AirAsia X Bhd, UMW Holdings Bhd, Inari Amertron Bhd, Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd, Destini Bhd, Tropicana Corp Bhd, Hua Yang Bhd, Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) Bhd, UOA Real Estate Investment Trust, Lafarge Malaysia Bhd, Taliworks Corp Bhd and Metrod Holdings Bhd.

Axiata Group Bhd slipped into the red in the first quarter ended March 31, 2018, posting a net loss of RM147.41 million.

It attributed the quarterly loss to higher share of business losses from its Indian associate Idea Cellular Ltd of RM124.3 million, as the Indian telecommunications market continued to struggle with the devastating price war and a hypercompetitive market.

Excluding the impact of Idea, net profit for the group would have been up by 34.6% or RM386.9 million.

Quarterly revenue fell 2.3% to RM5.75 billion from RM5.88 billion, due to foreign exchange translation impact as the ringgit strengthened significantly against all operating companies' regional currencies compared with the same period in 2017.

President and group chief executive officer Tan Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim said Axiata's investment in Idea continues to be challenging, but believes edotco's growth and expansion will bring material gains for the group.
AirAsia X Bhd's (AAX) net profit quadrupled to RM41.5 million in the first quarter ended March 31, 2018 from RM10.34 million a year ago, supported by a 13% growth in passenger volume.

Quarterly revenue rose 7.2% to a record RM1.27 billion from RM1.18 billion a year ago.

During the quarter, the airline delivered an additional 231,855 seat capacity, which represents a 14% year-on-year increase. Load factor was maintained at 84%, while average fare came down 3%.

On prospects, AAX said it recognises the challenges posed by the recent hike in fuel prices, adding that efforts are being put forth through the boost in ancillary and capacity numbers.

It said it is confident of presenting the results from these measures during the third and fourth quarters of the financial year.

UMW Holdings Bhd’s net profit for the first quarter ended March 31, 2018 surged by more than three times to RM74.08 million from RM20.16 million a year earlier, due to the group's exit from its oil and gas businesses.

Revenue fell 10.4% to RM2.42 billion from RM2.7 billion. Despite reporting an improved profit margin, thanks to a stronger ringgit against the US dollar, the group's auto sector saw a decline in revenue, as sales volume declined.

The company declared a single-tier dividend of 5 sen per share, payable on June 21.

UMW said it is confident of the long-term prospect of its three core businesses as demonstrated by its ongoing investments in automotive, equipment and manufacturing and engineering businesses.

Inari Amertron Bhd announced a 7.8% growth in net profit for its third quarter ended March 31, 2018 at RM55.17 million from RM51.18 million a year ago, mainly attributable to the increase in demand for its products, despite having to incur higher depreciation cost, increase in taxation, as well as less favourable foreign exchange rates.

Quarterly revenue rose 18.9% to RM325.83 million from RM274.03 million previously, thanks to the increase in demand, as well as changes in product mix.

The semiconductor player proposed a third single tier interim dividend of 1.6 sen per share, payable on July 6.

For the nine-month period, it turned in net profit of RM192.16 million, up 18.5% increase from RM162.23 million a year ago. Cumulative revenue stood at RM1.07 billion, 29.4% higher than the RM830.66 million previously.

For the remainder of FY18, Inari Amertron said it remains cautiously optimistic of continuing to deliver positive performance.

Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd posted a stronger net profit in the first quarter ended March 31, 2018  — in tandem with higher revenue — and declared a first interim dividend of 1.9 sen per share.

Net profit grew 18.2% to RM92.65 million from RM78.33 million a year earlier. Earnings per share rose to 6.51 sen from 6.43 sen.

Revenue was up 19.3% to RM730.83 million from RM612.42 million, due to stronger contribution from its operations and maintenance segment, which comprised about 86.8% of the group's quarterly revenue.

Group managing director Datuk Dr Mohd Abdul Karim Abdullah said the quarterly results has brought the group closer to its internal expectations for the year 2018.

Destini Bhd, an integrated engineering solutions provider, has clinched a two-year oil and gas contract to provide a tubular running services in Pakistan, worth US$8 million or RM31.76 million.

The contract — awarded by Lyallpur Oil Tool Pvt Ltd (LOT) to its wholly-owned Destini Oil Services Sdn Bhd — spans from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2020 and comes with a one-year extension option.

Destini will provide specialised oilfield equipment and experienced expatriate personnel for LOT to execute tubular running services.

The award is one step for Destini to build its oil and gas presence in the Middle East, in line with the group’s aim for geographical expansion and an increase in contribution from its commercial businesses.

Tropicana Corp Bhd's net profit surged 71.49% year-on-year to RM46.4 million in its first quarter ended March 31, 2018 from RM27.06 million due to cost savings and advanced progress of projects.

Quarterly revenue went up 21.22% to RM453 million from RM373.68 million on higher progress billings from advanced stages of construction work for many of the group's ongoing projects.

Moving forward, the group plans to introduce new phases across its signature developments, namely Tropicana Heights, Tropicana Aman, Tropicana Metropark and Tropicana Danga Cove, which are expected to continue to contribute positively to its earnings.

It also expects positive contribution from the 150-room W Hotel at the Kuala Lumpur City Centre, which is targeted to be operational in second half of 2018.

Hua Yang Bhd’s net profit for the fourth financial quarter ended March 31, 2018 shrank 68% to RM3.07 million from RM9.65 million a year earlier, on lower margins from its property development segment.

Earnings per share fell to 0.87 sen from 2.74 sen previously.

Revenue, however, grew 8% to RM86.74 million from RM80.68 million.

For FY18 as a whole, net profit plunged 93% to RM4.41 million from RM60.93 million in FY17, while revenue fell 40% to RM230.69 million from RM385.36 million.

The group — whose total unbilled sales as at March 31 stood at RM178.78 million — said it is cautiously optimistic of posting better results for FY19.

Cost reduction and higher revenue have helped Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) Bhd narrow its net loss position in the first quarter ended March 31, 2018 to RM5.85 million from RM22.84 million a year ago.

It said total cost dropped 4.2% year-on-year, while revenue grew 33.7% to RM55.51 million, from RM41.51 million, driven largely by distribution of its e-learning product Tutor guru and its e-paper.

Utusan — which publishes four newspapers (Utusan Malaysia, Mingguan Malaysia, Kosmo! and Kosmo! Ahad) and magazines (like Wanita, Mastika and Saji) — said it is committed to adopt more balanced reporting.

UOA Real Estate Investment Trust reported a net rental income of RM14.7 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 2018, little changed compared with the same period last year.

Gross rental fell 4% to RM19.6 million from RM20.4 million previously while realised earnings per unit dropped to 2.13 sen from 2.24 sen.

UOA REIT declared an income distribution of 2.03 sen per unit (including a non-taxable portion of about 0.08 sen per unit).

Moving forward, the REIT's manager, UOA Asset Management Sdn Bhd, said it will continue to seek opportunities to further acquire real estate that meets the objective of UOA REIT.

Lafarge Malaysia Bhd continued to bleed as its first quarter ended March 31, 2018 saw net loss expanding to RM68.73 million, from RM48.93 million a year ago.

Quarterly revenue slipped 2.67% to RM546.83 million from RM561.85 million, as a result of lower sales contribution from the cement segment, because of a soft market demand, increased industry capacity and continued pricing pressures.

Moving forward, Lafarge said business is expected to remain challenging, and will focus its efforts on growing its Drymix business.

Taliworks Corp Bhd’s net profit in the first financial quarter ended March 31, 2018 went up 10.5% to RM7.59 million from RM6.87 million due to higher bulk sales rate (BSR), and lower provision for discounting of trade receivables.

The rise in the quarterly net profit was also the result of more toll revenue coupled with lower operating cost from toll division while impacted by the share of loss from an associate.

Quarterly revenue came in 14.5% higher at RM81.72 million versus RM71.35 million last year after taking into account the impact from the provision for discounting.

The board declared a single-tier dividend of two sen, payable on July 13.

Taliworks said the receivables owed by Syarikat Pengeluar Air Sungai Selangor Sdn Bhd to the group was RM638 million as at March 31.

It hopes for a resolution on the Selangor water restructuring deal after the State said the Selangor water industry restructuring exercise would be given priority.

Metrod Holdings Bhd posted a 12.13% increase in first quarter net profit to RM5.73 million, from RM5.11 million a year earlier, due to a fair value gain on foreign exchange derivatives.

The copper rod producer said revenue for the quarter ended March 31, 2018 rose 20.77% to RM671.6 million, from RM556.10 million previously, on higher sales volume and increase in copper prices.

It expects satisfactory performance this year, as outlook for its hospitality business is expected to be positive, on the back of improvement in domestic leisure travel and foreign tourist arrival.

However, it warns that its margins are under significant pressure, and high credit, commercial and security risks, due to volatile copper prices and currency.

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